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H&M Bans PFC Use

Sweden-based retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB (H&M Group) has banned the use of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in all products it sells. All products ordered on or after Jan. 1, 2013, must be PFC-free.

PFCs — used to provide water, oil, grease, heat and stain repellency to a range of textile and other products — have been found to be persistent in the environment and are associated with adverse affects on humans and wildlife. H&M will replace PFCs in its products with BIONIC-FINISH®ECO, a fluorocarbon-free water-repellent finish produced by Rudolf GmbH, Germany, using a blend of branched comb polymers and dendrimers.

Last year, H&M and other fashion and sport brands initiated Joint Roadmap: Toward Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals, with the goal of eliminating hazardous materials discharge in apparel and footwear supply chains by 2020. H&M also is on the steering committee of the Apparel and Footwear Industry Restricted Substance List Management group, which strives to reduce the usage and impact of harmful substances in the apparel and footwear chain.

September/October 2012